Drug expert says mephedrone ban won't work – as first arrest is made

Posted On 28 May 2010 at 8:22 am

A drug expert says banning mephedrone won’t work – just two days after Brighton police made its first arrest over its sale.

Jenny Button was speaking at the inquest of Hove man John Sterling Smith, the first man to die of mephedrone poisoning.

She said: “We’re not letting the market settle. We’re forcing the makers to be one step ahead.”

On Tuesday, Brighton police held a 19-year-old man overnight while they questioned him over the sale of mephedrone after a student was filmed selling the Class B drug at Sussex University.

He was released on Wednesday afternoon on bail for four weeks, pending further police enquiries.

Yesterday’s inquest into Mr Sterling Smith’s death heard he had injected four doses of mephedrone while with friends at his home in Hove.

The 46-year-old also had coronary artery disease and was HIV positive.

Recording a narrative verdict, Brighton coroner Dr Karen Henderson said: “Being legal does not mean being safe or benign and it would be my wish that these differences be known on a wider basis.

“It is my verdict that John died following injecting mephedrone repeatedly, causing mephedrone poisoning on the background of coronary artery disease.”

She also changed the recorded cause of death frommephedrone poisoning to mephedrone poisoning in the presence of coronary artery disease.

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